A week after alleging the United States CIA conspired with the South Korean Intelligence Services to recruit and brainwash a North Korean citizen to kill their “Supreme Leadership” with an arguably non-existent “biochemical weapon,” North Korea is now demanding the world hand over the terror suspects that are responsible.

In a statement seemingly directed at no one in particular, North Korean vice foreign minister Han Song Ryol told foreign diplomats and reporters in Pyongyang that “The Central Prosecutor’s Office will ask for the handover of those criminals and prosecute them under the relevant laws.”

According to our law, the Central Public Prosecutor’s Office of the DPRK will use all available methods to start to work to demand the handover of the criminals involved, so as to punish the organizers, conspirators and followers of this terrible state-sponsored terrorism,” Han said.

The minister neglected to tell the crowd how many suspects there may be, what their identities are, or even what nations that are supposedly in.  Despite that, the Chinese media outlet Xinhua reports that North Korean officials had vowed to “hunt down to the last one of the suspects in every corner of the earth.”

These terrorists plotted and planned in detail for the use of biochemical substances including radioactive and poisonous substances as the means of assassination,” the vice foreign minister said. “These biochemical substances were to be provided with the assistance of the CIA … while the South Korean Intelligence Service was going to provide necessary support and funding for this attempt at assassination on our supreme leader.”

According to a statement released by North Korean officials via state news agency KCNA last week, the plot involved a former North Korean lumber worker being recruited to carry out the assassination of Kim Jong Un using a chemical weapon that could only have been sourced from within the CIA.

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… The component of terrorism-purposed bio-chemical substance is the know-how of the CIA and it is only the CIA that can produce such substance, and that hardware, supplies and funds needed for committing terrorism against the supreme leadership will completely be borne by the IS,” the statement read, referring to South Korea’s Intelligence Services as “IS.”

Thus far, the only name North Korean officials have released pertaining to the alleged plot is the surname, “Kim,” which they claim belongs to the man recruited by American and South Korean intelligence officials.  They have also not offered any further evidence to substantiate their claims.

South Korean intelligence service spokesmen said the charge was “groundless,” and the American government has yet to make any official statement regarding the allegations.

It seems unlikely that any such plot took place, though it is possible that North Korean officials discovered a citizen secretly providing intelligence to foreign entities such as those they’ve cited.  North Korea’s reclusive stature in the international community makes even normal, cultural intelligence the likes of which the CIA gather on all nations, extremely difficult to come by.  Assassinating Kim would not only be a very public violation of international law that would make keeping the “covert” aspects of such an operation extremely difficult to keep “covert,” it could potentially thrust the struggling nation into a turmoil that could potentially be even more dangerous than Kim’s regime.

It seems likely that these international statements are a bit of theater intended to bolster news stories being shared domestically within North Korea regarding this supposed plot and the threat Kim Jong Un faces in opponents like the United States and South Korea, who have made a very public display of seeking a denuclearized Korean peninsula.

“The bloody terrorist acts of CIA and IS backed by the U.S., the empire of evil, in different parts of the world surpass terrorism which is said to be perpetrated by ‘Islamic State’ forces,” the North Korean media reported last week.  By painting the US and its allies as terrorists akin to ISIS, it makes any North Korean citizen warming to the concepts of the West an unwitting supporter of terrorism – and offers Kim’s regime yet another way to manipulate the perceptions of his people into supporting his dangerous ambitions of becoming a nuclear power.

 

Image courtesy of Reuters